Pepper Spray is a great personal defense option. You can blind your attacker long enough for you to escape the threat, and you don’t have to live with killing anyone. Why do I like pepper spray so much? If you shoot someone with a concealed handgun in self defense, that someone or their family is going to SUE YOU. You may even have to go before a Grand Jury to determine if criminal charges should be filed. Hiring a decent lawyer to defend the civil suit and the criminal case will cost a minimum of $30,000. If you don’t have $30,000 laying around, maybe you want to consider buying pepper spray for personal defense.
Before you buy pepper spray, you should ensure that it is legal in your state or city. The best way to do this is to contact your local police department by calling the non-emergency number and asking them about the legalities of carrying pepper spray for personal defense in your state. Many states limit the size of the pepper spray container, and some states regulate the chemicals that make up your personal defense spray. Some states make a distinction between pepper spray that is for use on wild animals, and pepper spray that is for use against human assailants. As you can imagine, in states like Alaska, people are encouraged to carry some kick butt pepper spray to be used on attacking bears. Of course, people in Alaska would probably just be carrying a firearm instead.
After you learn the pepper spray laws in your state, you should enroll in a self-defense class that teaches you how to use pepper spray for personal protection. Many of these courses are taught at your local gun range, or at your local martial arts academy. Finding these classes are as easy as performing an internet search. I live not to far from a gun range that teaches concealed carry tactics and pepper spray personal defense tactics. I keep trying to hammer home that you will not rise to the occasion, you will instead sink to the level of your training. You need to take a class that teaches you the basics like…don’t spray into the wind, and how to draw your pepper spray in an emergency. Such a class will also teach you to hit an attacker’s eyes when you are experiencing the high stress levels of a life or death confrontation.
In any case, if you haven’t practiced something like this before the emergency arrives, when the time comes you are going to be just about as useless as a fumbling idiot. Even after taking the class, you should practice various scenarios on your own at your house. Practice using your pepper spray whiled seated in the driver’s seat. Practice using your pepper spray when an attacker surprises you from behind. Be aware of the fact that you may have to “fight” to your pepper spray before you can use it.
Practice recognizing situations when you should walk with your pepper spray in your hand and at the ready. Practice what you might say to an assailant before you spray him. “I CAN’T HELP YOU!” Or maybe, “GET AWAY FROM ME!” Or one of my favorites, “DON’T COME ANY CLOSER!”
Play the entire scenario out in your mind several times so that when it happens you are ready. Practice what you will do if your assailant complies, partially complies, or doesn’t comply at all.
After you have attended a professional training course, you need to decide what type of pepper spray you are going to purchase. I’m sure your class instructor will have an opinion on what type of pepper spray you should carry, and it might be best to listen to that advice.
The key ingredient in pepper spray is Oleoresin Capsicum, which is often abbreviated OC. This is the chemical that makes peppers hot. Pepper sprays are sold in different capsicum concentrations, different spray patterns, and different size containers. They are also sold in differing levels of “hotness.” Make sure that the pepper spray you purchase is adequate enough to stop the threat that you are preparing for.
Finally, (and I know this sounds like a broken record) it is important that you train to use your pepper spray in an emergency situation. If you are in a high risk area, you should already have it in your hand and at the ready. If you are attacked, remember that your pepper spray is mainly designed to buy you time to escape. Aim for your attacker’s face, spray the threat, then sprint to safety. You should also consider the possibility that your attacker might not even be phased in the slightest by your pepper spray, and have a plan for escaping the threat if that happens.
On a side note, I hope that you are in good running/sprinting shape. I hope your physical fitness level is not going to get you killed because you did not have the conditioning required to escape the threat when your pepper spray buys you the 2 or 3 seconds that you need to sprint to safety. If your physical fitness level is a problem, consider joining my mailing list. You will recieve a FREE copy of Defensive Pistol 101, and about a week later I will email you a FREE copy of Bullseye Strength & Conditioning, which is my no weights/no gym/at home physical fitness program that will help you lose weight and strengthen and tone your body.